Author Archive: Alan Musselman

Fireworks jam session live via Connect in 10 minutes!

I canceled the Fireworks jam session when our AXNA server was in transition to a new home. Today, we’ll kick these sessions back into gear and take a closer look at the Fireworks public beta on Adobe labs!

See ya in a few minutes:

http://my.adobe.acrobat.com/osd

Adobe MAX comes to San Francisco

Folks – Just around the corner is the famous MAX conference aka Adobe MAX 2008. I have to admit this is by far the one event I can’t miss even as a Adobe employee. It’s an amazing place to collab and learn new techniques you never knew possible. I love feeling the energy and excitement from everyone that attends the conference and since its in San Francisco there is no telling what will happen! There will be over 200 sessions and 50 labs + plus pre-event labs…phew I hope I can maintain during this event. :-)

On the plus side for me at least the convention center is only a couple blocks away from my casa. I was thinking of throwing a Fireworks party (with no "real" fireworks people) if anyone is interested and wants to hang out with Fireworkers.

Get your reservation now, dont wait! I know a lot of you will wait till the last minute and then realize its too late. (slackers!)

Adobe MAX 2008
http://max.adobe.com

Adobe Fireworks user group meeting tonight!

Tonight is the night folks for Fire on the Bay!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 6:30pm @ the mothership in San Francisco

If you are not in the San Francisco bay area and want to get a glimpse of Adobe Fireworks public beta in all its glory and can’t attend in person…then attend the Connect session.

Take note of a few features and enhancements that will be demo’d tonight in the Fireworks beta below. (List from release notes)

Performance

File Open, Save and Close Improvements
A large amount of time went into re-architecting how documents are opened, saved or closed. The improvements will be noticed once you open an existing document created in Fireworks version CS3 or below in the Fireworks beta and then save and reopen the document.

Resolved Complex Memory Leaks
Many legacy and newly introduced memory leaks in CS3 have been resolved in the next version of Fireworks.

Vista Support
Resolved critical performance issues that existed in Fireworks CS3 using the brush tool or any tool that displayed a preview of the affected area. Vista performance was a priority for the engineering team to resolve based on the feedback in the Fireworks support forum.

Faster load time
Documents containing a lot of pages, layers, states and symbols will now operate smoother than before. The reaction time has been improved when switching between Pages and/or States.

Asynchronous saving
With asynchronous saving you now have the ability to save a large document and continue working on that document or a different document while the large document is still saving.

Workspace

User Interface
From Mac to PC, experience a consistent look and feel. The Fireworks beta has caught up with CS3 and has gone above and beyond to sport the new interface. Enjoy features like support for multiple monitors, full screen mode and collapsible panels enabling you to have more screen width to work with on those wider designs.

Smart Guides
Reap benefits like quickly being able to position objects with other objects including slices without using the Align panel. Hold down shift and experience the new dynamic values (width/height between guides) when updating or creating the positioning of guides.

Tooltips
Tooltips are everywhere! No need to constantly look at the property Inspector when positioning objects. Tooltips will give you a heads up display of the X and Y location in real time.

Preferences Dialog
Easily modify preferences with the new dialog, consistent with Flash preferences. Set custom grid size that is remembered with every new document or set guides and grids to a custom color in one central location.

Photoshop Import Dialog
Customize various options when importing Photoshop documents such as choosing a layer comp state or retaining custom shapes (vectors) or even choosing to preserve the appearance of clipping masks.

Updated Layers, Pages and States panels
Right-click on any object, layer, page or state and quickly access properties that were only available in the panel options menu in CS3 and below.

Live Gradients, Patterns, and Masks
Work with gradients real time on the canvas. No longer do you need to drag and drop just to preview the placement of the gradient on an object. All gradient types are supported. Patterns and masks also support the new feature.

New Workflows

Adobe Text Engine
Many new enhancements have been integrated; such as retaining the fidelity of your Photoshop or Illustrator designs with text. Support for Ligatures and font style. Flowing text inside a closed path has been implemented.

AIR content Preview and Creation
Preview the prototype as an AIR application to quickly test interaction and usability and then package the prototype and send it for instant feedback before developing the actual application in Flex, Flash or HTML.

Export to Adobe PDF
Export a clickable prototype as an interactive Acrobat PDF. No need to send around a folder of HTML files and images or post them on a server for review. Easily collect comments from reviewers using a single PDF document.

Symbol improvements
Edit-in-place for symbols is now supported. Symbols architecture has been completely re-architected to support better performance and the ability to see live updates across symbol instances when editing a symbol in place.

Style improvements
Style sets are now supported and apply styles that can be linked to various shapes and objects in the current document. Multiple documents open at the same time will exhibit the styles within them using the dropdown menu in Styles panel. Access current document styles and use options in the property inspector to quickly redefine, break link, delete or override the style. New style sets have also been included.

CSS and Images Export
Export standards based CSS layout designs that can be further tweaked in Dreamweaver using an extended version of Smart CSS for Fireworks. A new slice type called Background image is now supported. CSS Stylesheet is automatically externalized with the option to include the CSS within the current document. Easily position the layout by using new options to left, center or right align right from Fireworks. Text outside of slices will be retained as HTML text. HTML rich symbols export as HTML controls!

New Tools

9-Slice Scaling Transform Tool
Quickly select an object or even a combination of symbol, vector and bitmap objects and scale them using the same technology that exists in Symbols, however, now use the technology as a transform tool.

Improved Rectangle Tool
New and improved rectangle primitive has better support for 9-slice enabled symbols and the new option to select pixels versus percentage of rounded corners. Now scale the rectangle and retain pixel perfect rounded corners on the rectangle.

Arrow Line Auto Shape Tool
Easily point to a location in the document or change the Arrowhead type easily in one click.

Measurement Auto Shape Tool
Quickly create visual measurements between objects for projects such as creating style guide specifications for engineering teams.

New Commands

Demo Current Document
In a time crunch? The command will quickly export out a simple XML file with JPG images linked to a Flash-based presentation viewer. Present the presentation to your clients in person or upload the package to a server and send a link to the client for review. Also, create your own presentation player in Flash that hooks into the XML file for custom styled presentations that effectively show your company’s brand.

Export to FXG
This is an export script that generates vector graphics code for future use with next-generation Flash Player authoring applications. Currently, we are not looking for feedback on this command.

Take Screenshot (Windows only)
Now take pixel-precise screenshots using the new Take Screenshot command. Easily navigate to the window or screen you would like to screenshot and once you select the area, go back in Fireworks and paste in the screenshot.

Updated Commands

Add Arrowheads
Upgraded to ActionScript 3 to support better performance and sports a new interface. Apply Arrowheads on strokes and preview them in real time before applying the command.

Add Picture Frame
Upgraded to ActionScript 3 and supports a new interface to match the overall Fireworks new user interface.

Auto Vector Mask (Formerly Fade Image)
Supports a new interface with a real time preview to quickly see the mask applied to the image or vector object.

Twist and Fade
Apply a slew of new effects with optional randomization on each property. Upgraded to ActionScript 3 to support better performance Twist and Fade now allows you to save presets and even re-open an object to modify the applied effect. Another great enhancement is to preview the effect real time on the canvas without closing the panel.

Updated Command Panels

Align
Upgraded to ActionScript 3 and sporting a new interface. A major improvement is support with undo history steps. Now you can undo a step using a keyboard shortcut. Be precise when distributing objects by entering a numerical value. No need to manually select an option to modify anchor points. When a anchor point is selected the Align panel will update automatically to reflect anchor point options.

Auto Shape Properties
Upgraded to ActionScript 3 and sporting a new interface to fit within the Property Inspector location of the user interface.

Color Palette
Support for 5 colors. A new interface overhaul that makes the panel more usable and feel like the overall new user interface. The panel has also been upgraded to ActionScript 3 for better performance. Color Wheel is more reactive with real time preview of color swatches. Easily switch between Selector, Mixer and Blender options.

Special Characters
Upgraded to ActionScript 3 with new interface.

Symbol Properties
Upgraded to ActionScript 3 and sporting a new interface to fit within the Property Inspector location of the user interface.

Path
Amazing new features for intermediate and advanced users. The path panel has exposed more functionality that allows you to edit vectors with more precision then ever before. Upgraded to ActionScript 3 and supporting a new user interface this panel will be invaluable and will make you a vector editing wizard.

Also, take note extension developers can use ActionScript 3 and even customize the icon that displays their panel in Fireworks!

Adobe Fireworks beta is released on Labs!

I’m excited to announce the public beta release of Adobe Fireworks and hope you enjoy the bug fixes, enhancements, new user interface and features! While your downloading the beta check out the Connect recording below for a last minute demo of the beta:

Demo of current build 388
http://my.adobe.acrobat.com/p70713643/

Jam Session starts in 10 minutes!

We have a special guest in the house today, Aaron Beall will be joining the Fireworks Jam Session in person! Not sure what we will do, but the idea is just to have an open discussion with us and Fireworks. We can do demos based on your question or reproduce an issue if you found something thats frustrating you or just stop by and show something cool you made in Fireworks/Web Suite. See ya in a few minutes. Remember to access the Connect room by clicking the link on the left nav…

Adobe TV! (and me)

Visitors that stop by Adobe TV will be welcomed by a ton of professionally cut videos on anything Adobe and one video is my friends and I playing disc golf in the "After Hours at Adobe" series. If you are into disc golf and live around San Francisco, you can usually find me on the disc golf course in Golden Gate Park! :-)

Wow…I never thought I’d talk about disc golf on my blog or at Adobe cause I told myself to keep it everything related to Fireworks…so technically this is legit since the video shows me working at my desk on Fireworks, no? ;-) I learned to play disc golf at an early age and always found regular "golf" to be rather boring if you ask me. Over the years I’ve really grown to appreciate the sport and thankful to play at our local disc golf course in Golden Gate park. Please give disc golf a shot if you havent played before!

Welcome Doug Winnie to the Blogosphere!

Please welcome Doug Winnie to the blogosphere at Adobe! I work closely with Doug and glad to see another Adobean passionately wanting to share their knowledge and resources via blogging. As Scott Fegette introduced me to the blogosphere awhile back I feel introducing Doug to you all is highly beneficial for many reasons. Doug works at Adobe as a Group Product Manager with an achieveable goal which is to increase productivity and develop new workflow opportunities between our applications here at Adobe. If you enjoy improving your workflow then Doug’s blog is definitely one to bookmark. Going forward we will see a lot of great tips and resources if not workarounds to common tasks that may seem impossible.

Welcome Doug! :-)

Watch the recording of today’s jam session. Tim demos kuler 2!

In today’s jam session Tim Strickland (Sr. Computer Scientist in the Emerging Creative Technologies Group and lead developer for kuler) stopped by and gave us an in-depth demo of kuler and how he used Adobe Fireworks CS3 to rapidly prototype kuler 2. He also shared a lot of tips and resources and how developers can tap into the kuler API to extend the creativity into their own developments.

Connect recording:
http://my.adobe.acrobat.com/p63457132/

Thanks Tim!

Jam Session starts in 10 minutes!

Hey everyone -

Finally back in action after traveling for a few days and ready to meet up in the Jam Session.

Also, if you havent seen Smashing Magazine’s roundup of Fireworks tutorials and resources, go check it out.

FireworksGuru: Demon Towers

Check out Demontowers.com for Free Flash and Fireworks Extensions! The developers there are awesome and can stir up some really cool extensions. There’s also an update to the Twist and Fade command that ships with Fireworks CS3.

The Demon Towers design is clean and slick. I’m a big fan of dark layouts created in Fireworks and would vote for Halloween to be a once-a-month event if I was elected President. :)

Steven Grosvenor from Demon Towers joined the Fireworks Jam Session today and what a wonderful session with Steven. He showed us the behind the scenes magic around the site architecture and he even fixed a bug with the Newsletter submission. Not only is Steven a strong Fireworks user, but he also codes like a madman with HTML/ActionScript/JavaScript/.NET/C# creating various chemical compounds to construct insane extensions for Flash and Fireworks.

I love the extensibility layer with Fireworks and Flash. Why bug engineering when you can make the panel yourself and solve your own workflow issues? Use Flash/Flex to build the User Interface via ActionScript and make calls to the JavaScript API in Fireworks, its that easy! Well I’m pumped up today, Steven just made my day. :-)

Here’s the recording if you have time to watch today’s session.